Making Scotland a world-leader in fair work

BITC Scotland publishes recommendations for Scotland’s Fair Work Action Plan based on a series of consultations across Scotland between September and November 2018.

Unemployment levels are at an all-time low across Scotland, and yet far too many people are struggling to find good quality work - a job that offers security, opportunity, effective voice, respect and fulfilment. At the same time employers are struggling to find and retain talent, to increase productivity and to adapt to a rapidly changing economic landscape.

Research shows that job quality, employee health and wellbeing, engagement and productivity are closely linked. Businesses that offer good quality work are more diverse, productive, engaged and innovative than those which do not.

It’s in every business’ interest to offer fair work.

During the autumn of 2018 Business in the Community Scotland organised five consultations across Scotland to gather input from employers on what makes a convincing business case for fair work, what are the challenges to fair work and what actions can businesses, government and civil society – individually and in collaboration – take to achieve the vision of being a world leader in fair work by 2025. We engaged c. 50 large, medium and small organisations in these conversations representing a range of sectors in Scotland. The results of these consultations were compiled into a BITC Scotland report submitted to the Scottish Government.

Today, the Scottish Government has published the Fair Work Action Plan.

Alan Thornburrow, Director of Business in the Community Scotland, said: “Business in the Community welcomes the focus that the Scottish Government has on promoting fair work across Scotland and have been proud to support the recent consultation by engaging employers across all sectors and of all sizes to help create Scotland’s Fair Work Action Plan. We welcome the Fair Work Action Plan and are pleased to see the voices of employers reflected within it.

“As the voice of responsible business in Scotland, we look forward to continuing our collaboration with business, government and civil society to take forward these actions and make Scotland a world leader in fair work by 2025.”

BITC members recognise the importance of fair work to their business.

Sandy MacDonald, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Standard Life Aberdeen Plc said: “We’re proud to be members of Business in the Community, collaborating to ensure business is a force for good. Evidence clearly shows that businesses who recruit inclusively, pay a living wage and provide opportunities for training and progression, have workforces who are more engaged, healthy and productive.

“At Standard Life Aberdeen we’ve seen real business benefits through our focus on social mobility and inclusive employment. It also has a ripple effect in to families and communities and contributes significantly to address many other social challenges.

“It’s no surprise that Scottish Government has been such a champion for fair work and the real living wage, and through organisations like Business in the Community, is collaborating to encourage greater recognition of the benefits and greater take-up of these responsible business practices.”

Ty Jones Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement, DWF LLP said: "The way DWF does business is based on our values and reflects the behaviours we want to be known for, and fair work sits are the heart of those values. We understand that the principle of fair work is fundamental to ensuring our people are emotionally invested and can recognise DWF as a great place to work whilst feeling proud to be part of a principled business.

“Delivering on our values is enabling our business to thrive, attracting and retaining the best talent and a diverse, engaged and innovative workforce. We are supported in this through our long-standing membership of Business in the Community, helping us to take a leadership role in contributing to inclusive growth and harness a collective desire to innovate, learn and improve the provision of fair working practices which deliver the changes needed to help lift people out of poverty and build stronger and more resilient communities through access to education, skills support and decent work.

“We are proud to be a signatory of the Scottish Business Pledge, an early adopter of the Living Wage and welcome the continuing focus of the Scottish Government to engage, collaborate and embed fair working practices which drive success and prosperity for individuals, businesses and society.

“Society and business are best served by responsible behaviours and working practices, something we will not lose sight of as we continue to evolve our response to the challenges and opportunities of doing business in a global context."